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Border Closure: NCS Now Generates Over N5b Daily – Hammed Ali



  • Border Closure: NCS Now Generates Over N5b Daily – Hammed Ali

Since President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the closure of the Nigerian land border with the Republic of Benin and Niger, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it has been generating between N4.7 billion and N5.8 billion daily.

Hameed Ali, the Comptroller-General, NCS, made the statement during his meeting with the National Assembly Joint Committee on Finance working on the 2020 – 2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

He also stated that the service realised a record N9.2 billion in one day in September, the highest in a single day.

According to him, the partial closure forced importers that normally use the Benin Republic to import goods to start using Apapa or Tin Can Island, hence the service was able to collect duty on those goods.

He said: “When we closed the border my fear was that our revenue is going to drop. To be honest our revenue kept increasing.

“There was a day in September that we collected N9.2billion in one day. It has never happened before. This is after the closure of the border and since then, we have maintained an average of about N4.7billion and N5.8 billion on a daily basis which is far more than we used to collect.

“What we have discovered is that most of those cargoes that used to go to Benin (Republic), shipped to Benin, continue and then discharged and smuggled into Nigeria, now that we have closed the border, they are forced to bring their goods to either Apapa or Tin Can Island and we have to collect duty on them.

“If that would continue to us it is a welcome situation. As a matter of fact, to answer your question, our revenue has not reduced; it is increasing as a result of closing the border.”

This a positive news for the Federal Government, who has been working on plans to up revenue generation, especially with global oil prices falling following Saudi attacks.

Let us hope the Federal Executive Council will put a stop to the proposed increase in Value Added Tax and the tollgates.

Meanwhile, traders in Benin Republic are already feeling the heat as businesses are said to be losing millions on a daily basis.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.